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INTRODUCTORY .ESSAY,                                161
from the mountains. Along the base of the Himalaya it is
greatest to the eastward, and becomes much less in the ex-
treme west. Close to the mountains the amount of fall is
not known, but at Benares it is 54 inches, at Gorakpur it is
50 inches, at Moradabad 41 inches, and at Saharunpur only
30 inches. Further from the hills the fall at Meerut is 30
inches, at Alighar 24 inches, at Fattighar 22 inches, at Pani-
pat 25£ inches, at Delhi 21J inches, at Agra 19£ inches, at
Cawnpore 33 inches, at Allahabad 33 inches, and at Mirzapur
35 inches. These numbers present many irregularities, and
are probably not to be rqlied on, but they suffice to show the
diminution of rain as the distancelfrom the Himalaya increases.
Nor is the reduced ram-fall an accurate indication of the
change of climate, as the atmosphere near the mountains is
shown by the dew-pcint observations to be much more moist
at all seasons than at a distance.
The flora of the Gangetic plain varies with the degree of
humidity. The surface (except along the base of the moun-
tains) is nowhere clothed with forest, but uncultivated tracts
are usually covered with a loose bush-jungle, in which Butea
frondosa^FlacQurtia sepiaria, Capparis sepiaria^ZizyphusJyjuba
and (Enoplia, Adhatoda Vasica, and Carissa edulis are among
the commonest shrubs, till the climate becomes too dry for them,
when they are gradually replaced by the vegetation of the
Panjab region, which usually advances as far as the Jumna,
'and now and then penetrates a little way i$to the Doab; in-
deed several of the species which are most characteristic of
•the arid flora, as, for instance, Tecoma undulata and Berthe-
lotia lanceolata, were first collected by General Hardwicke in
the neighbourhood of Cawnpore. Alhagiis also found in the
same district, and Peffanum Harmala is recorded as a native
of Monghir.
If we exclude this dry country flora, which just skirts the
southern part of the plain, the vegetation of the Gangetic
plain presents few peculiar features; indeed a catalogue of the
plants of Rohilkhand contains very few species which arc not